Silvi Rouskin is currently an Assistant Professor in the Department of Microbiology at Harvard Medical School. Born in Bulgaria in a family of rock musicians, Silvi immigrated to the USA by herself to pursue a career in science at the age of 15. She obtained her PhD at University of California San Francisco, in the lab of Jonathan Weissman, where she pioneered a high-throughput approach to measure RNA structure in cells. After graduating, she started her own lab as a Whitehead Institute Fellow at MIT, and her lab established experimental and computational approaches that revealed genome-wide RNA structure heterogeneity of HIV-1 with functional impacts on alternative splicing. At the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Rouskin lab determined the genomic structure of SARS-CoV2 in infected cells and identified alternative structures important for ribosomal frameshifting. Silvi has been awarded the NIH New Innovator Award, the Smith Family Award, the Burroughs Welcome Fund, and the 2021 Vilcek Prize for Creative Promise in Biomedical Science.